This shows how out of touch I am. I just found out that my kids’ absolute favorite attraction at Walt Disney World has been totally revamped. I know, I know. Disney does this sort of thing on a constant basis. And, if it weren’t such a beloved memory in my family, I could probably agree that the place needed a remodel. As it is, I’m quite meloncholy.
What is it? An old classic like Pirates of the Carribean or Spaceship earth? Tower of Terror? Space Mountain? Test Track? No, my kids’ favorite part of Disney World wasn’t even a ride, per se. It was a little, hidden out of the way, living advertisement for CocaCola called Ice Station Cool.
Huh? Well, these are not YOUR children. I don’t get it either. But when we went to WDW in 2003, they insisted we go back to Ice Station Cool 3 times. And when we made a return trip in 2004 for my 40th birthday, ISC was the absolute first place they wanted to go when we got to Epcot. As any parent knows, anything that beloved by your children is beloved by you (except Spongebob).
Ice Station Cool was just a room accessed from a winding hallway. They kept the room at what seemed to be 45 degrees or so. Shaved ice was on the floor of the hallway. You don’t know HOW GOOD this blast of cold air felt after being in 95 degree weather most of the time! I could have stayed there all day.
Once you got through the pretty nondescript hallway, you ended up in a wide room that had “stations” all around – each with 5 or 6 taps dispensing CocaCola products from around the world. As I recall, they were all pretty good, except the “Beverly”, which tasted like sassafrass and licorice. Finally, there was, of course, a big CocaCola gift shop. (Everything at WDW begins with a line and ends with a cash register).
OK, so, for some reason this morning I was feeling nostalgic, I do a search on Google, and what do I find? They’ve revamped the place into some swanky looking hotspot called “Club Cool”. It has a futuristic feel, kind of like the work set of Ugly Betty.
IMHO, all of the hokey, quaint, tacky charm of Ice Station Cool is gone. It just looks so “hip” – and if it’s one thing my family is not, it’s hip. My kids will be devastated.
But then again, maybe not. We’re planning on going back in 2009 to get the whole “going to WDW with teenagers” vibe. More than likely, the teen Zaphod and Trillian duo will not have the same loves and passions that they did when they were young children. I can envision us passing by Ice Station Cool, feeling nostalgic, and saying to the children
“Come on! Let’s go into Ice Station Cool!”
“Dad – that place is so lame”
“But you LOVED it last time we were here! I couldn’t drag you away!”
“Dad, I was seven years old. I’m almost grown now. Hey, let’s head to Test Track!”
I’m almost grown now… Ouch.
Maybe Disney saved me a little parental angst, after all.